In Dengeki PlayStation, an interesting tidbit came up. Gust’s Junzo Hosoi, who produced Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout, noted that the developer could bring Ryza back to be the lead for the next game in this possible series. To be specific, Hosoi compared it to maybe being like the Harry Potter series. While it might be an unfamiliar idea for Atelier, it would work rather well for a possible Atelier Ryza trilogy.
One reason this would work as the first part of a trilogy following one alchemist is the part of the story it is telling. Atelier Ryza is a coming of age story. There’s something of a slow burn here, even though a lot does happen over the course of Ryza’s adventure. It takes some time for her to discover what alchemy is and learn to use it effectively. She doesn’t even have an atelier until a few hours into the adventure, while many other installments start the protagonists out with one. We see this build-up where characters are only beginning to see who they are and want to be, and we see them deciding upon and taking the first steps toward those goals.
This means the characters get extra attention paid to their development. A lot of Ryza’s arc is overcoming conceptions people have of her. She has a reputation for being something of a troublemaker, and this is to her detriment since people don’t take her alchemic endeavors seriously or listen when she warns them about serious issues. Klaudia wants to pursue music, but doesn’t yet have the confidence to express herself. It’s only with new friendships that she gains even more opportunities to express herself. Lent has an abusive and alcoholic father, and we see how much of his life is spent parenting him while pursuing his own dreams. Even Bos, an NPC, grows and proves that he isn’t the “bully” we initially expected to see. Instead, he’s trying to make up for a past event gone wrong and right a current wrong.
But, perhaps the best reason for Ryza to get another game is because the ending of Atelier Ryza leaves room for her to keep advancing. There are no multiple endings with different resolutions; we get one ending. In this installment, she’s only just finding her footing as an alchemist. (You know, by eventually saving the world and all.) As the story goes on, people realize she isn’t some silly girl playing at an imaginary career and is someone who should be respected and relied upon for her abilities. She’s decided to protect and stabilize the village initially. But, she doesn’t rule out eventually leaving, and Klaudia even suggests the two go traveling after Ryza feels her work there is done.
Besides, Atelier Ryza’s ending hints at a reunion. Her friends are finding their own paths. Lent will be moving on to become a knight-errant. Tao and Bos are heading on to new jobs in the capital. Empel and Lila are going to resume traveling. There’s a suggestion of a reunion from Klaudia, either willingly or by force. Other games have tended to end with a more solid resolution. People will have established ateliers, found lost family members and saved the day. Here, we know that the world is in a better place, but there might be more room to see what is next than with other trilogies like the Arland and Dusk lines.
Ryza is a strong heroine. Her first game only covers a brief portion of her life. We are only seeing her take her first steps as an alchemist here, even though she has already accomplished some extraordinary things. Given that and the way things go for her and her friends, it could be absolutely appropriate to have her be the lead of another game.